If you are not famous, how can you get invited to speak in conferences?

Hi Elpha ladies!!

** Does anyone here have any experience on how to be invited to speak in conferences or giving speaknotes for free? Would love to connect if so, because my firm, although 20+ yers of experience in Mexico, has only 2 years in the US, and need some reach.

YES, I've been a repeat speakers at a number of conferences focused on Tech, Venture Capital etc (including the All Raise Summit, Web Summit, Africa Tech Summit, Africa Future Summit, and many others) and I'm not famous (at least not yet haha)!What would you like to know?
Wow! thats so cool! I'd like to know more about your starting point, how was your journey that connected to your first conferences?
Aside from submissions, reach out to the organisers to pitch yourself! When I was super broke but wanted to network and raise awareness on my startup (and get investors/customers) I would volunteer all the events to meet people. From there, I built relationships and now I speak at some of those (had my first gig in 2018 and been doing this ever since. I have had less time in the last 6 months but hopefully get back on it in the coming months)
I love it, thanks iynna!
of course! a whole lot of hustle!
I get asked to be on podcasts simply because I had an online presence of my work and projects. It's not all getting into someone's face and talking. what are some snippets of info your firm has done that you can share easily on social media?
Thank you MorganLucas! Thats something to think about! As my firm works with sensitive information, normally we cannot share impact or outcomes. But I want to think more about what you are saying., there must be something that can caught some attention
If there are conferences specific to your industry, you can also look to see if they're accepting submissions to be one of the speakers or on a panel. I know a handful of conferences in the hospitality space lately had opportunities like that that didn't have many submissions, so it was relatively easy to get on.
Really? That can work! I will check them! Thank you
I can speak to this a bit from the conference organizer side. :) Caveat: our event had a smallish budget, so we mostly only covered speaker and travel fees for our keynotes, not for panelists or other speakers. * Apply to speak at conferences! Most industries have events and conferences - know what yours are, so follow them and connect with the organizers to find out how to speak. Local events are always easier and cheaper. * Why do you want to do conferences? Is it to build industry credibility, expertise and networking, to connect more with prospective clients, prospective employees, something else? That will affect which conferences you focus on. Having specific outcomes in mind also helps you decide how much time and money to put into doing events like these. * Part of our speaker vetting was basic searches - did the company/speaker have a decent reputation? Did they seem qualified to speak to the topic? Could we potentially also include them in panels as well as their proposed talk? Were we able to find them on YouTube to get a sense of their speaking style? If they were pitching a panel, was it interesting, were the other speakers interesting, were they reasonably diverse? Was the topic timely, visionary, and/or unique? Or kind of a rehash of common knowledge? Hope this helps!
THANK YOU for the advice, I really appreciate it!!!
this is great insight! i think you can start at a smaller scale eg lead a segment on smth youre an expert at or lead a roundtable, and then slowly be noticed!
Other have said it below, but from a PR perspective, we proactively pitch/submit clients as speakers to the organizers of events that we think would be great for exposure. We don't wait around to be asked! If the event doesn't have an open submission process, there is still a way to reach out tactfully and respectfully and offer yourself/your company as a speaker!
Thank you dear Julia!
@mjrebolledo - thank you for the prompt and I'm loving what I'm reading in the comments section! As someone who has been speaking for the last 5+ years (and is married to a professional speaker), here are a few tips I'll add to the mix:- Add "Speaker" to your LinkedIn headline. Even if this feels aspirational right now, it will help people see you as one (along with yourself)- If there's a conference you'd love to speak at in the future as a plenary / keynote speaker, why not pitch yourself to put together a panel/roundtable talk and either emcee or be on it? When you're pitching to the conference organizers, you can give them an idea of the folks you'd like to invite. This gives you a GREAT excuse to network with those people. And you're doing all the heavy lifting for them by organizing. WIN WIN!- Put together a one or two pager that outlines a few different workshop/speaking offerings. Include a title and blurb. This makes it easy for conference organizers to picture your offering on their event website/packet.- Have a professional bio ready to go - Get good photos of you speaking. You can ask a colleague to take these photos while you're facilitating. You can also stage the shot ;) - If the conference doesn't have an honorarium for speakers, be sure to get the most out of exposure. I have a list of "value exchange" ideas. Such as...- having my photo and workshop blurb in a newsletter- providing me a testimonial after the workshop that I can share with others- submitting a testimonial / post about my workshop in a public place, like LinkedIn and/or in a listserv- tradeshow space (sometimes virtual events also have this)- a copy of the professional video footage (if in person)- being a guest on their podcast - a comped ticket to the rest of the event- additional comped tickets or coupon code for my network Okay, I could keep going but I'll stop there. lol Hope this helps!-
It helps tons! Thank you Lindsey. I particularly loved the 'value exchange' ideas. I am taking note of all of these. Thank you for your input!
Typically conferences include a request for proposals and if you can offer something interesting for their attendees, they'll want to have you join.
Having previously worked at a growing media company, before our podcast got big, we would take inbound requests for podcast guests. Reach out to small/growing podcasts in your industry! Repost to LinkedIn, that will help get you on the map and eventually you can start reaching out to conferences or they will start reaching out to you.
Love it, thank you!!!
check out Innovation women - From the about us: Our mission is to provide equal visibility opportunities for women, supporting career development, business success, thought leadership and diversity. We’re also here to help event managers avoid the all-male, all-pale and all-stale panels we see so often at industry conferences and events. We need more diversity onstage.
This is great! Thank you so much for sharing!